Bring back Wonders of Life
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Since January 1st, 2007, there's been an empty gold dome in EPCOT between Mission: SPACE and the Universe of Energy. This gold dome used to house Wonders of Life, an assortment of attractions themed to the human body and the workings of life. Included were Cranium Command - a show about how the brain worked starring an animatronic character named Buzzy as he piloted the brain of a 12-year-old boy trying to impress a girl named Annie, The Making of Me - a film starring Martin Short that safely explained how a baby was born, and my personal favorite Body Wars, a motion simulator taking place in the human body where Dr. Cynthia Lair (Elisabeth Shue) studied how white blood cells reacted to a splinter. The pavilion also played a variety of new age music from artists like Ray Lynch and Yanni and offered healthy snacks.
The sponsor for Wonders of Life, Metropolitan Life Insurance, dropped out in June 2001. Because of that, the pavilion was reduced to operating seasonally in 2004, and closed altogether on New Years' Day 2007. The dome's been used as the Festival Center for EPCOT's numerous festivals since then, and everything's been walled up and painted over. However, the Cranium Command stage is 100% intact, including the Buzzy animatronic. Body Wars' queue still stands, although the simulators have been taken out (and presumably destroyed.) No plans have been made to replace or reopen the pavilion. But I think we can change that.
You see, in 2015, Pixar released Inside Out, a film very similar to the Cranium Command attraction at Wonders of Life. Both had Pete Docter in its involvement, and both were a stylized look at the human mind as seen through cartoon beings controlling a 12-year-old. While in Cranium Command, Buzzy piloted a boy; in Inside Out, Joy and her friends Anger, Disgust, Fear, and Sadness pilot a 12-year-old girl named Riley Andersen. Inside Out has been proven to be very popular. So if they can retheme Cranium Command to an Inside Out attraction, rehaul the stage, and update the show with 3D animation provided by Pixar themselves, many fans of the movie would come to see the attraction. My idea for the plot is that Buzzy (the protagonist of the original Cranium Command) is sent by General Knowledge to join Joy and the emotions in piloting Riley throughout her day. Near the end of the show, Riley hears the emotions and Buzzy and talks to them.
Body Wars was a popular attraction, but the roughness (compared to Star Tours) and grossness, as well as the introduction of Test Track, which took the title of the most popular ride in EPCOT away from Body Wars (now there are many thrill rides in EPCOT like Mission: SPACE), were factors in its decline and eventual closure. We could use new ATLAS simulators and reduce the roughness, allowing for a smooth ride. The footage in the safety video is also very outdated, showing the late '80s Walt Disney World logo and clothing of the late '80s among others. Even though the ride film was directed by Leonard Nimoy, who's since passed, the effects look very outdated. But wait! There's a solution to all this! On November 4th, 1995, the cartoon series Iron Man, which Disney owns the rights to as they bought Marvel, aired the sixth episode of its second season. This episode was called "Iron Man, on the Inside." In it, Hawkeye has his spine severely injured in a fight, and Iron Man has to shrink down and go inside him to insert a technological fix, while simultaneously battling Ultimo, who has been shrunk along with him. In my opinion, the episode is very reminiscent of Body Wars, so it'd be perfect for basing an updated version of the attraction on. Even though EPCOT has many Disney IPs in the park already, Body Wars is in desperate need of this retheme. Here's why. The ride film would be animated by Tokyo Movie Shinsha, the Japanese studio who animated the Iron Man cartoon. Having the film be animated would ensure nothing would become outdated like the live-action film that originally played. In addition, the inside of Hawkeye would be animated realistically, with the latest research being given to the animators. For riders who miss the original Body Wars, Elisabeth Shue reprises her role as Dr. Cynthia Lair in animated form; Dr. Lair accompanies Iron Man inside Hawkeye. Continuing from Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, there'd be multiple destinations and storylines riders could select or have pre-selected for them. Two of the pre-selected sequences would be based on the original cartoon episode the ride is based on and the original Body Wars film respectively. You could also design a custom body probe prior to boarding the simulator, the body probe design of choice would be shown in the ride film. The problem with all this is that Universal currently holds the theme park rights for most of the Marvel characters in Florida. However, they don't use Iron Man at all; the only Avengers member they use is Hulk, and his ride is more based on his solo comic, no mention of his role in the Avengers being made at all. The reason Marvel is one of the decision makers is because it's their duty to make negotiations with Universal about altering the contract so none of the characters they use can be used in other theme parks within their range, but the characters they're affiliated with can if they're not in use by Universal.
The Making of Me will also return, this time having a woman doing the explanation. Classic Saturday Night Live player Laraine Newman would inform guests of the miracle of birth in a way that's safe and easy for children to understand, and she even alludes to how unconsensual sex and pornography are wrong. The reason I suggested Laraine Newman is because Martin Short has been in one attraction too many (he's in O Canada! and I believe the American Adventure.) We could substitute him with another famous SNL cast member, and one who understands giving birth as she had to do it once. (The American Adventure, by the way, could compliment this by making her fellow cast member Jane Curtin the host.)
The Sensory Funhouse could be updated with VR, as would the Wonder Cycles, now featuring Oculus Rift allowing guests to take a virtual bike ride around Future World. Baymax Corner would feature Baymax from Big Hero 6 offering health tips. The Anatomical Players would return to perform, and Pure and Simple's re-opening will bring back a long time fan favorite: the Wonder Waffle, which new generations will get to eat and agree with older ones it is amazing. Goofy About Health will remain the same, except it'll be updated with newer research proven to improve health. Frontiers in Medicine will undergo a similar rehaul. The pavilion, in addition to the new age music closely associated with it (such as "Celestial Soda Pop" by Ray Lynch), will feature vaporwave music, as it's similar to new age music and gives many a nostalgic feeling. Some tracks that could be played are "SNAKE WAY 蛇の道" by MAITRO (as it samples "Tourist in Paradise" by The Rippingtons, which plays in the lobby of the Contemporary Resort), "リサフランク420/現代のコンピューティング" by MACINTOSH PLUS (arguably one of the most famous vaporwave songs of all time), and "Make it Last" by opal東京. Additionally, some Japanese music from the '80s like "Dancin'" by Junko Ohashi, "Step into the Light" by Toshiki Kadomatsu, and "Plastic Love" by Mariya Takeuchi will also fit the mood, as well as future funk music like "BABYBABYの夢" by TANUKI and "Honey" by YUNG BAE. Over by the queue of the Iron Man themed Body Wars, more retro songs like "Boogie Oogie Oogie" by A Taste of Honey and "Fantasy" by Mariah Carey would play, to give the vibe most Marvel movies have as retro music is a common feature in them.
We don't even need a sponsor. Disney is a corporate giant; they have enough money already to "sponsor" it themselves. In closure, a revival of Wonders of Life will be a great place for the children of today to learn about living a healthy lifestyle, how their body works, what to expect in the future, and how to live life to the fullest. Who can make this happen, o Bob Iger? As Kiyotaka Sugiyama says, "Only you."
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